The End is Here?

The National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association met for four hours in New York today after a nine-hour meeting yesterday but were unable to come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The most recent meetings reportedly did not go well, as NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow's response was pessimistic.

"We met the last couple of days, tried to cover some issues and maybe a few new issues to see if there was a possibility of some common ground and some traction, but that isn't the case," Goodenow told reporters before leaving New York.

The NHL had a more positive outlook.

"We had extensive and constructive talks over the past two days," executive vice-president Bill Daly said in a statement. "While there are no future meetings scheduled, we have agreed to keep the lines of communication open."

It is widely believed that an agreement must come soon, possibly within the next few days, if there is any hope for a season to be played this winter. ESPN reported earlier in the week that the league planned to cancel the season on either Thursday or Friday but that was denied by Daly.

"Despite several media reports to the contrary, we have no intention of making any further announcement relating to collective bargaining or the status of the season at this time."

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